The holidays are fast approaching, and before winding down for the holiday season, we wanted to give a status update about Project Boil the Ocean.
- The advanced desalinator design continues. This is a necessary part of processing salty water into pure, fresh water through the abundant power of the sun.
- OMS has begun development of a prototype solar collector design that could help solar heat and power become affordable and reliable, for residential areas from the Keys to Hawaii, from Ohio to even Alaska. It should even be scalable, for much larger power needs. A prototype should be ready for testing within 6 months.
- We’ve completed the first round of testing for our controls automation software, which we’ve dubbed “The Green Vector.” Despite a few initial bugs that have since been addressed, this software is versatile and robust. It can be used on any computer, or even a smartphone, and can be scaled up or down and customized for OMS’s R&D and commercial needs, including test rigs and large megawatt scale projects.
OMS New Year’s resolution: post more pictures & video!
On a separate note, OMS is now hosting the website for the Cleveland chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Renewable Energy Committee. Check it out: www.operationmustardseed.com/SESC/SESC%20Website/index.html
Happy Holidays! We here with OMS are looking forward to an exciting year 2012, filled with forward progress toward energy sustainability.
Hope you enjoyed the summer! Project: Boil the Ocean continues to take strides:
- Planning an OMS R&D center to be located in the Greater Cleveland area. It will include, among other features: solar power, energy-efficient design, rainwater collection, and a small urban garden.
- An automation and controls software framework is currently in beta testing. Compared to available automation and controls solutions used in both research and manufacturing today, it is highly customizable and can be used for very large, complex systems.
- Personally traveled throughout the Midwestern and Southwestern US, in search of a good location for launching BTO. A lot goes into choosing a location, and this travel helped narrow the available choices further than a simple internet search.
- Currently testing a desalination system that will efficiently remove salts and dissolved solids from salt water. Unlike current desalination systems which dump waste brines into the sea, such technology will make possible 100 percent use of all the components in seawater, producing zero waste products, and producing fresh, clean water.
Sketch of an R&D building concept.
Multimedia associated with BTO will be on the website soon; stay tuned.
The largest solar plant in the world is currently in the works for an area near Gila Bend, Arizona (70 miles southwest of Phoenix). Abengoa Solar is building the 280 megawatt parabolic trough plant, called Solana. It will have up to six hours of thermal storage, which will enable it to provide power even after sunset or on cloudy days. According to Abengoa Solar, the energy produced will be enough to serve 70,000 households and prevent 475,000 tons of CO2 each year. It will reportedly eliminate nearly 500,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year.
Operation is scheduled to begin in 2013.
For more information, and a video, visit www.abengoasolar.com.
A frequent complaint about solar thermal generators and solar energy in general is that the technology fails to produce enough electric power to be economical. A team of researchers from Boston College and MIT have set out to change that, with a new type of solar thermal device that combines high-performance thermoelectric materials with spectrally-selective solar absorbers in a vacuum-sealed chamber that boosts conversion efficiency.
In English, this means more electric power from the same sized panel, while producing thermal power for other uses such as water heating. The results of this technology could have far reaching appeal, for industrial as well as residential. With the ability to simultaneously heat water and generate electricity, the hybrid panel has the potential for realizing payback much faster than any other device currently on the market.
Looking for more information? Check out the article “Solar-thermal flat-panels that generate electric power” from Solar Daily.